The first machine capable of recording telephone conversations was invented in 1898. The first device that could be considered an “answering machine” was invented in 1935, and the first machine that could answer a phone call and perform tasks based on touch-tone responses was invented in 1983. It took 105 years to go from the groundbreaking phone call by Alexander Graham Bell to being able to complete calls with only one live person interacting.
In the years since, practicality, fiscal benefits, and customer demand have led to virtually every company of any significant size adopting either partially or fully automated answering services. This splurge in technology has brought about an interesting scenario. With every company having the option of using automated answering services, actually using them doesn’t make any one organization stand out greatly. To complicate matters further, unlike with most other technologies, consumers seem to be at odds with whether they prefer to navigate through an automated system or want to speak to an actual person. With this is mind, companies must choose whether they want the convenience of an automated system or the personal touch of a real person representing their brand.
Bryce Koonts, Leanna Marshall, Julius Roberts, Leslie Tyler